Slake, the quarterly literary journal being launched by former LA Weekly editors Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly, is scheduled to arrive in bookstores by the first week in July. The debut issue weighs in at 232 pages; it's perfect bound and slightly larger in format than Granta. Contributors include a hefty number of ex-LA Weekly mainstays — Ochoa was editor in chief for eight years after being executive editor of Gourmet, and Donnelly was deputy editor after being arts editor at New Times Los Angeles and editor in chief of Bikini. Donnelly is publisher of the new journal and gets credit in the first issue for "dreaming up Slake several years ago when he asked himself a simple question: why doesn't a city as cool and interesting as Los Angeles have a publication as cool and interesting as the city?"
From the flackage:
SLAKE is devoted to the endangered art of deeply reported narrative journalism and the kind of polished essay, memoir, fiction, poetry and portrait writing that is disappearing in a world of instant takes and unfiltered opinion. SLAKE marks a return to storytelling.
Designed with an artist's eye and published in a full-color, perfect-bound format, SLAKE sets a new template for the next generation of print publications -- collectible, not disposable; destined for the bedside table instead of the recycling bin; and so seductive in its looks and content that readers will find it irresistible. Online, SLAKE stories will be easy to navigate on any platform, and will be one of the first websites designed from scratch to take advantage of the display capabilities of the iPad.
Most important are the voices of SLAKE, some of the nation's finest writers, photographers and artists who live in Southern California and bring to SLAKE their own individual visions of Los Angeles and the world beyond. Contributors to SLAKE's debut issue include Luke Davies, Mark Z. Danielewski, Jonathan Gold, Geoff Nicholson, Jerry Stahl, Sandow Birk, Michelle Huneven, John Albert, John Powers, Judith Lewis, Iris Berry, Steven Kotler, Daniel Hernandez, C.R. Stecyk, Pleasant Gehman, Arty Nelson and many more.
* Wednesday update: Brand X in the L.A. Times has a feature on Slake, Ochoa and Donnelly.